he should have been an artist

born the last of nine
tail end of an immigrant brood
thrown into a life
where work
food on the table
and the family
were the world
the intangibles did not exist
and being the last
the only one at home
to help the aged ones
survive past useful service
quit school for work
factory jobs
back when that equaled
the filth and servitude
of no respect
he ended up
in hell’s own playground
roaring furnaces
and noise that never quit
where he took the talent
in his hands and bent it
to the will of industry
up at five and out the door
then home at four
every day the same
except for weekends
when there was always
because there was
no money to buy new
a balky car or some machine
past useful life to be repaired
and in the evenings mostly quiet
happy with the paper
and a beer and dinner
every night at five o’clock
but oh he read books too
and in spare moments stolen
when the bosses weren’t looking
fashioned jewelry and
other small well-crafted pieces
stray evidences of his gift
suppressed never discussed
barely acknowledged
i wonder now that you are gone
did you in silence hate your life
prevented as you were
by chains of obligation
from expressing
all the hopes and dreams
and visions in your soul

© 2014 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved

he should have been an artist

RC deWinter

Fairfield, United States

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

A poem about and for my father.

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